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How do you deal with people who aren’t working fast enough, or the quality of their work isn’t good enough?



Firing someone is one of the most difficult things many managers ever have to do in their careers. But what about when the person isn’t doing anything wrong exactly, but she’s just not the employee you had hoped for?
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I attempt to manage challenges like this from the perspective that I may not have provided everything this person needs to succeed. That means asking questions that validate they have the right tools for the job, the training to use the tools well, an affinity for that work, etc.

The course of a conversation from this perspective (Do you have all the resources and support you need?) either leads me to an understanding of what I've not been providing all along, or identifies that all the resources are there and the employee either does not enjoy the work, cannot thrive in that space, or has an unrelated conflict in their life that's impacting performance. In those cases that can encourage a healthy discussion about if the job is the right fit or not, and set about a change plan to address it.
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1 reply by Andrey Grubin
Oct 17, 2017 1:34 PM
Andrey Grubin
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Thank you!



Oct 17, 2017 1:29 PM
Replying to Craig Dalrymple
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I attempt to manage challenges like this from the perspective that I may not have provided everything this person needs to succeed. That means asking questions that validate they have the right tools for the job, the training to use the tools well, an affinity for that work, etc.

The course of a conversation from this perspective (Do you have all the resources and support you need?) either leads me to an understanding of what I've not been providing all along, or identifies that all the resources are there and the employee either does not enjoy the work, cannot thrive in that space, or has an unrelated conflict in their life that's impacting performance. In those cases that can encourage a healthy discussion about if the job is the right fit or not, and set about a change plan to address it.
Thank you!



The best approach is to connect and contribute. This is an opportunity for your growth as a manager. A big part of your responsibility is to develop your people, so put together a learning plan for her and coach her. Also, I recommend you read the book "Radical Candor" because you want to make sure you are giving her useful feedback - Challenge and Care.



Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions on this topic!



I give chances. Until to the end of critical path... Then, I take the control back, apply the solution as I know and keep going. Of course, I expect the individual to learn from what I do.

If he/she follows, that's a win.
If not, that's a loss. But for him/her, not for the project. At the end, we should protect the project.

A very simple example. I have been so annoyed with a Service Quality Coordinator's meeting notes, when he performed meetings with vendors. At the end, these MoMs would be your baseline/standing point for a conflict; and I realized that he didn't capture all the important things we discussed and agreed. After 2nd failure, I stopped him not to take it and I started to assign myself as note-taker for those MoMs.

You might think that I put more load on my shoulders. I prefer it now, instead of having big legal issues later...



It is all depends on circumstance. However, I personally believe that "firing" is the last choice in most of cases. People are different. So we have to manage them differently.



I have gone through this before, so I can understand your frustration. I guess there is no easy, sometimes we just have to give them more time. In my case I offered this employee training, but still she was not performing well. So I had to take some of her responsibility to make sure that project is not affected by this work.

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